Getting a local hub interested in OFN

Hello, I’m Kaz. For health and philisophical reasons, I have recently become interested in locally grown foods so I can avoid processed industrial foods and support local producers. I’ve hooked up with and overall I’ve been very pleased - but not so pleased with the software. So as a developer (full stack rails 10+ years), naturally, I started poking around and wound up here. On github I was very pleased to see it is a rails app.

So, I thought, I wonder if the owner has researched other software options and if OFN would be an option she would consider. I imagine she would fall into the category of: Hub(shop)

  • Does that mean we would not need to install an instance on a server?

  • Can we demo the software somewhere, as a Hub(shop)?

  • What is the ‘cost’. I see it is open sourced.

She has more than one pick up location (hub) and many producers.

I figure I’d be willing to donate my time to set up her instance (if necessary) and maybe support it and I’m trying to see what I’m getting into :stuck_out_tongue:

My first impression of OFN is very positive. I’d like to see a larger US footprint. Our food chain is as broke as any.

Thanks for any guidance. Kaz

PS: As a fairly seasoned developer, here is my unsolicited and possibly ignorant feedback:

  • I see you are considering not using Spree. When I was spelunking through the repo, my initial impression when I saw it was … concern … you are tying your destiny to theirs. Their models will never match your models.

  • I see it is using rails 3 and there are plans for 4 and that it is a very sophisticated rails app and the roadmap to 6 is very bumpy. I wish I had good advice for this … but I will say that it is a predictamen and will become more so over time. IMHO, at sometime you are going to have to rip off the bandaid, get current, and stay current at all costs.

  • As a full stack dev, I’ve necessarily had to design. In self defense, I focus on simplicity and frameworks. Getting the UI right is essential imo and the level of importance starts with the consumer experience and moves back to the hub then producer but it is important everywhere of course.

  • Did I miss, in the repo, using prototypes and/or wireframes somewhere? Does OFN use figma or sketch?

hi @kazbach welcome :slight_smile: I’ll leave it to the developers to respond to those points, but for a US-based shop you’ll be able to use the Open Food Network USA platform: and @lauriewayne1or @MSFutureFarm can link you in to US support, costing, etc and I’m sure would really welcome some support with the US instance

Yep @kazbach we would love to have you explore and join the US Instance. We definitely would love to have some help getting the word out about OFN (and help building the team would be invaluable!). Please email me at and let’s arrange a phone call!